Posted by: greercn | March 28, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

Disney animations have massive and lasting popularity. Two hit live shows have come out of “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast”. The Disney DVDs sell in huge numbers.

A new trend of making humans, hyped up by CGI and 3D, where once there were charming animations brings mixed blessings.

“Jungle Book” was an okay remake, but I missed the cartoon Baloo. Very little matches the joy of watching that bear sing “Bare Necessities”.

Emma Watson is fine as Belle, the bookish girl and Beauty of the title, who meets the beast. Kevin Kline is quite affecting as Belle’s widowed dad and he benefits from looking like his animated counterpart.

Dan Stevens looks a lot more interesting and compelling as the Beast than he does as a human.

The so-called gay plot brings nothing that will trouble anyone. I would have had no idea it was a gay plot if I hadn’t been told.

Josh Gad as LeFou and Luke Evans as Gaston are almost cartoons, despite being human.

Scenes are here that terrified the youngest children, who screamed out in a fully-packed Stratford East Picturehouse. I was hiding behind my daughter’s shoulder, a few times. How is this PG?

And the best song from the live show – “When We’re Human Again” – isn’t here and three new songs are shoehorned in that don’t really fit, for me.

I missed Angela Lansbury’s gorgeous speaking and singing voice, as Mrs Potts.

Hattie Morahan is terrific, in a smaller part. And the flashbacks to Belle’s early life are very moving.

There are vast numbers of celebrity voices.

The enchanted castle, objects and rose effects are all wonderful. Using this castle in the beginning credits, instead of the Disney castle, worked really well.

A shade of gold that I will call Trump embellishes many objects and clothes.

For me, it’s an okay movie instead of a great movie. But my daughter loved it and she said she will buy the DVD, as soon as it comes out.

Director Bill Condon goes for sentimental choices and these worked a lot better for the others watching than they worked for me.

Jean Cocteau’s version of this story still moves me more than any other version.

But this new Disney version will be commercially successful, everywhere. Subtlety is not appreciated nor is it highly-prized, on screen. Pity.

But I did appreciate being part of a big audience that loved every minute of this (too long) movie. Enthusiasm is contagious.


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